Letter to the Editor

Syracuse University Faculty Oversight Committee responds to Daily Orange story on athletics report

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Syracuse University Faculty Oversight Committee (FOC), we write to provide some additional context to the article entitled Report: In NCAA-mandated interviews, Syracuse athletes voiced academic advising concerns, dissatisfaction with facilities, published by the Daily Orange on September 7th.

First, to clarify, the FOC engages scholarship and non-scholarship student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility by holding in-person exit interviews.  These interviews, conducted twice each year, seek feedback on their experience at the University. The FOC uses this information to make meaningful change to improve the overall student-athlete experience.  Great examples of the committee listening and responding are the recent addition of a full-time counseling staff member, the creation of nutritional center for healthy food options, creation of a full-time life skills coordinator and study abroad opportunities.

Our second intention is to make sure readers understand the positive benefits associated with exit interviews and the on-going commitment by Syracuse University Athletics and the broader University to holistically provide the best possible student experience for our student-athletes. While the recent Daily Orange story focused on complaints or concerns of one or two students, the power of the exit interview process is that student voices are heard and their concerns are efficiently circulated to the administration and other campus officials.

Missing from the story was any mention of the tremendous academic results achieved by our student-athletes that may give readers a stronger sense of the hard work by our student-athletes, the Provost’s office, the commitment from the Athletic Director to academic success and the work of numerous tutors who assist our great student-athletes:

  • Two teams Women’s Soccer and Men’s Basketball received NCAA public recognition awards for their Academic Progress Rates
  • Fourteen teams had perfect single-year Academic Progress Rate Scores
  • The single-year and multi-year institutional Academic Progress Rate was tied for the highest scores recorded
  • The Cumulative GPA for the student-athletes is consistently above a 3.0
  • SU enjoyed a record number of ACC Academic Honor Roll recipients
  • Syracuse produced four Academic All Americans

Despite the limited number of concerns, the FOC’s commitment to transparency and listening to all student-athletes remains paramount to our charter.

Sincerely,

Rick Burton, David B. Falk Professor of Sport Management, Faculty Athletic Representative to the ACC and NCAA, chair of the FOC

Tommy J. Powell, Assistant Provost, ex-officio to the FOC

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